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Pencil Flower, Endbeak Pencilflower, Sidebeak Pencilflower - Stylosanthes biflora


Family: Fabaceae - Pea family Genus Common Name: Pencilflower Native Status: NativeDicot Perennial Herb
Stylosanthes biflora - Pencil Flower, Endbeak Pencilflower, Sidebeak Pencilflower. As with all memboers of Stylosanthes, S. biflora has triofoliate leaves and small yellow flowers. This member of the Pea family is found in most of the eastern United States outside of New England, and in the south as far west as Texas. It has also been reported in Arizona, although that report may be erroneous. Arizona, Texas, and Florida are the only states with other Stylosanthes species present in the wild. It is Endangered in Pennsylvania.

Found in:
AL, AR, AZ, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WI, WV

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Stylosanthes biflora

Distribution of Stylosanthes biflora in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 25 Jun 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: Cloudland Canyon State Park, Dade County, GA Date: 2013-June-21Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The tiny flower of Pencil Flower is a deep yellow to yellow-orange, and clearly shaped similarly to other members of the Pea family. The nearly round standard is little more than one-quarter inch across.
Stylosanthes biflora

Site: Cloudland Canyon State Park, Dade County, GA Date: 2013-June-21Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The hollow calyx tube which surrounds the pistil, like the wood surrounding the lead in a pencil, give the plant the “Pencil Flower” common name.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Stylosanthes biflora

Site: Cloudland Canyon State Park, Dade County, GA Date: 2013-June-21Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Stylosanthes biflora has wiry stems that may be recumbent, climbing, or erect to as much as 18 inches high. The plant usually has a much lower profile.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Stylosanthes biflora

Site: Cloudland Canyon State Park, Dade County, GA Date: 2013-June-21Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The leaves of Pencil Flower are alternate, and pinnately trifoliate. The leaflets are narrowly elliptic to lanceolate and up to an inch and a half long, usually with a bristle at the tip and a couple bristles along each side. These bristles can be better seen in the second photo on this page.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Stylosanthes biflora

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer